News (USA)

Conservative “mama bear” struts in “drag” at school board meeting to protest drag show

A drag queen reads a book at a St. John, New Brunswick event
Photo: Shutterstock

A right-wing activist in Iowa wore a drag-inspired costume to a school board meeting to protest a recent high school drag show.

Iowa Mama Bears founder Kimberley Reicks attended a meeting of the Ankeny School Board earlier this week. During the public comments portion of the meeting, she demanded answers about the outcome of an investigation into an after-school drag performance held in May by Ankeny High School’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA).

“Where’s the transparency in this?” Reicks asked. “How are we going to entrust you — the board members — to do what is right for us parents and make sure that the kids know what is right?”

As the Des Moines Register reports, Reicks accused a drag performer who appeared at the May event of being a “Satanic worshiper.” As another woman held a poster with images of the performer, Reicks removed her jacket and sweatpants, revealing a costume similar to the one the performer wore: a black, one-sleeved leotard over opaque tights, with knee-high boots.

“I want to know: does this outfit make you turn your head?” she asked. “Is this outfit appropriate for anybody here to see? Because if this makes your head turn, if this pi***s you off, then it should. Because this guy walked into our school, wearing exactly the same thing.”

In May, Ankeny High School’s social media accounts were flooded with negative comments following the drag performance at the GSA’s year-end meeting. District officials said that they had not approved the performance in advance and that organizers did not follow protocol in putting on the event.

At the same time, as the Register noted in May, Ankeny High School pep rallies have featured performances by male athletes dressed as cheerleaders.

One of the students who performed at the event said that the threatening online backlash, instigated by anti-LGBTQ realtor Chaya Raichik (who goes by LibsofTikTok online), had made him feel unsafe at school.

Reicks’s organization Iowa Mama Bears advocates against mask mandates, COVID-19 vaccines, and LGTBQ content in schools. She previously sued the Ankeny Community School District, claiming that it had retaliated against her for protesting against its mask mandate by placing her five-year-old daughter “in a plexiglass enclosure” at school. A judge dismissed the suit, but Reicks has appealed the decision with the Iowa Supreme Court.

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